Johann Elias Ridinger, Camel Deer

“ A Well-done Representation
of this Animal
rarely to be seen over here ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Camel Deer. Guanaco standing to the left. Colored etching/engraving, supposedly by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: CAMELO-CERVVS. / Cameel Hirsch. / Chameau=Cerf. / Familia I. mit zwey Klauen. / Ex Collection Hr. Secr. Klein, in Danzig. / M. El. Ridinger =. 12¼ × 8¼ in (31 × 20.9 cm).

Thienemann (erroneously? only “Fam.” in contrast to here “Familia”) + Schwarz 1038.


from the unnumbered Colored Animal Kingdom created since 1754 and concluded finally posthumously not before 1773 (“Complete copies are next to untraceable”, so Weigel, Art Cat., part XXVIII, Ridinger Appendix 63a as merely 120-sheet torso, 1857 ! , but also just individual plates quite rarely on the market only, at niemeyer’s presently nevertheless the one as the others). – Remaining uncolored contrary to the prospectus, a second edition from the plates shortened even under loss of animals and with modified titling and the Ridinger inscription removed, yet now numbered, was published by Engelbrecht/Herzberg in Augsburg 1824/25.

“ Again we have received the illustration of this animal from Ludolph’s (Klein’s) famous collection by the appreciable kindness of Mr. Secretary Klein. It is a particular creature and there is no doubt about its actual existence. Mr. Gessner already has described such one and gives Peru as the fatherland of the same … ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. I, p. 22, enclosed in copy).

With Jacob Theodor Klein (“Plinius Gedanensium”, Königsberg 1685 – Danzig 1759; town clerk in Danzig, later director of the Society of Naturalists Danzig co-founded by him, member of the Royal Society, London, and honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg; ADB XVI, 92 ff.), famous for his collections, Ridinger was in close communication and supported in his Colored Animal Kingdom undertaking in many ways, too. Following Klein’s classification according to kind and number of extremities – superceded by Linné’s anatomical classification – the early states of some plates of the set still show references to his Quadrupedum dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis of 1751, as known to Thienemann for some plates and documented here for several more by a complete copy available here. Ridinger himself emphasizes by the preface in his words of thanks “in particular the tremendously beautiful collection of P(rofessor). Klein

of the Ludolph estate , which comprises nothing but original items. ”

“A well-done representation of this American animal rarely to be seen over here … head, neck, feet largely white, everything else fairly rusty-yellow … a llama which is found in freedom from times immemorial” (Th.), “has been reduced considerably due to hunting” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., X [1889], 420/I).

With watermark C & I Honig, similar to Heawood 3346 & 3348, as that sturdy Dutch quality paper Ridinger used in line with his preamble to the Principal Colors of Horses

“on  account  of  the  fine  illumination”  for  the  colored  works

“as for this purpose it is the most decent and best”. – Margins on three sides 1.7-3 cm, below 5 cm wide.

Offer no. 15,903 / EUR  630. / export price EUR  599. (c. US$ 724.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

  1. “famous work which the merited naturalist Jacob Theodor Klein in Danzig published 1751 under the title: Quadrupedum Dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis. Enlarged and revised, he had translated it into the German himself and his friend Gottfried Reyger published it 1760 under the title: J. Th. Klein’s Natural Order and Augmented History of the Quadruped Animals. Ridinger was in close communication with Klein, was supported by him in many ways in this (Animal Kingdom) undertaking and followed Klein’s system” (Th., p. 200)

“ Many thanks for your message. Thank you very much for sending the (Anthonie) Waterloo … I am grateful to you for the opportunity to buy the etching. It was interesting to learn about its provenance … The Waterloo etching arrived safely today, beautifully wrapped. Thank you very much indeed ”

(Mr. M. L., April 24 and 29 resp. and May 6, 2003)


The  Cream  of  the  Day